3 Sep 2003

Call for tougher stand on violence against women in Fiji

4:59 pm on 3 September 2003

Fiji's National Council of Women is calling on leaders to take a tougher stand on violent offending against females.

This follows police concerns about the high incidence of sex-related crimes.

According to police, in the first six months of this year, 244 cases involving such offences were reported, compared with 262 reported cases for all of last year.

The secretary of the National Council of Women, Sharon Rowles, says attitudes towards women in Fiji still need to change.

"When you're facing reported crimes of violence, you know that reflects our society, that's the reality and unfortunately its not a pretty picture of Fiji. I think its a challenge for many of our leaders, not just the traditional leaders or religious leaders or even the ministers, but everyone has a stake in eliminating violence."

Sharon Rowles says despite increased awareness programmes, attitudes from church leaders and educators need to stop reflecting stereotypical views of women.